The 13 best places to visit in Budapest

 

Located to the south of the city centre, Memento Park is an open air museum that holds 42 statues and monuments that were removed from the city after the fall of Communism. There are statues of Lenin, Marx and Engels, though arguably the most striking statue is the Republic of Councils Monument, based on the famous 1919 revolutionary poster.

13. Memento Park

 

Created in 1972 and sitting on the railings of the Danube promenade is a 50cm statuette called the Little Princess. Inspired by the artists eldest daughter, the statue holds pride of place, back dropped by the hugely important Buda Castle.

12. Kiskirálylány

 

In World War II, some 3,500 Hungarian's were ordered to take off their shoes and then shot on the banks of Danube so that their bodies would fall into the water and be swept away. In 2005 the Shoes On The Danube memorial was created to honour those that were killed.

11. Shoes On The Danube

 

One of the capitals major city squares and a landmark of Budapest is Heroes Square, noted for its iconic statue complex of important national leaders, the tall column with Archangel Gabriel holding the crown of Hungary as well as the tomb of the unknown soldier. Construction began in 1896 AD to commemorate the one thousandth anniversary of the Hungarian conquest and was later called the Millennium Monument upon its completion in 1900. Flanked by impressive historical buildings on all sides it is easy to see why so many visitors flock to this grand square.

10. Hősök Tere

 

Originally built in 1913 in a Neo-Baroque style is the Széchenyi Thermal Bath, the largest medicinal thermal bath in Europe. Situated in the city park, there are three outdoor pools and fifteen indoor pools of varying temperatures fed from an underground spring. It is certainly one of the most picturesque natural thermal pools on mainland Europe.

9. Széchenyi Thermal Bath

 

At 526 metres (1,725 ft) high the Buda Hill is the highest point in Budapest, where at its peak stands the Elizabeth Lookout, a name that was given after Queen Elizabeth's visit in 1882 AD. The tower, built later in 1911 was named after another Elisabeth, the Empress, wife of Emperor Franz Josef. From its vantage point visitors can see out across the city and beyond to the Great Hungarian Plain.

8. Erzsébet Kilátó

 

Built in 1896 AD in the city park, Vajdahunyad Castle was created as part of the millennial exhibition celebrating a thousand years since the Hungarian conquest. This beautiful lakeside castle was designed to feature copies of several landmark buildings from different parts of the Kingdom of Hungary and includes Romanesque, Gothic, Renaissance and Baroque architectural styles. As well as housing the Museum of Hungarian Agriculture, within the ornate and flowering castle courtyard sits the impressive and rather eerie Statue of Anonymous.

7. Vajdahunyad Vára

 

Having been designed and shipped from the United Kingdom, at the time of its construction in 1849 AD the Széchenyi Chain Bridge was regarded as one of the modern worlds engineering wonders. Unfortunately nearly a century later in 1945 during the Siege of Budapest the bridge was blown up leaving only the towers. Having been rebuilt in 1949 the Chain Bridge remains one of the cities most iconic structures.

6. Széchenyi Lánchíd

 

Completed in 1905 and named after the first king of Hungary, St. Stephen's Basilica is the third largest church building in the country and one of the equal tallest buildings in the capital. Building regulations in Budapest state that no building may be taller than 96 metres (315 ft), the exact height of both the church and parliament building. Beautifully ornate inside and out, the dome of the church can be accessed for one of the best panoramic views of the city.

5. Szent István Bazilika

 

Built in 1851 AD at the top of Gellert Hill is the citadel of Budapest, along with the towering Liberty Statue that was erected in 1947. A kind of fortress, the Citadella's vantage point 235 metres (771 ft) above the river level offers probably the single best panoramic view of the city.

4. Citadella

 

First constructed in 1265 AD on the banks of the River Danube stands the enormous Buda Castle, the historical castle and palace complex of the Hungarian kings in Budapest. Housing the Hungarian National Gallery and the Budapest History Museum, most of what can be seen is the massive Baroque palace built in the mid 18th century. Its position on Castle Hill in an area known as Varnegyed, famous for medieval, Baroque and Neoclassical houses, churches, public buildings and monuments, the castle complex has been declared part of the Budapest UNESCO World Heritage Site.

3. Buda Castle

 

Built at the end of the 19th century in a Neo-Gothic/ Neo-Romanesque style is the Fisherman's Bastion, its seven high pitched stone towers symbolizing the seven chieftains of the Hungarians who founded Hungary in 895 AD. The structure is lined with walking paths, covered staircases, ornate facades and decorative towers, the Fisherman's Bastion one of the most important tourist attractions due to the unique panorama of Budapest from the Neo-Romanesque lookout terraces. Also on the site is the Church of the Assumption of the Buda Castle, more commonly known as the Matthias Church. Built in the 14th century and considered a masterpiece of late Gothic architecture, it was the second largest church of medieval Buda and the seventh largest church of the medieval Hungarian Kingdom. Fisherman's Bastion has been declared part of the Budapest UNESCO World Heritage Site.

2. Halászbástya

 

Completed in 1904 AD on the banks of the River Danube is the Neo-Gothic Hungarian Parliament Building, its name in Hungarian directly translating as House of the Country or House of the Nation. Situated in Kossuth Square on the Pest side of the city, the building holds nearly 700 rooms, 10 courtyards and 242 wall sculptures. At its entrance the great ornamental staircase beneath the fresco ceiling leads visitors to the central hall where the Holy Crown of Hungary is displayed. One of the cities most popular destinations, the equal tallest building in Budapest and the largest building in the country, it is the most iconic landmark in the capital, in the country as a whole, and has to be regarded among the finest pieces of architecture in all of Europe. 

1. Országház

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